Every year is hard for workers, but this one hurt more than most. Many of us learned what it truly means to be an at-will employee, when our bosses fired us without notice. We were left to navigate Lepage’s intentionally crippled unemployment system. We faced backed up phone lines paired with a website available only in English, cutting off many New Mainers who would have qualified for unemployment benefits. Then there’s those of us who were forced to stay on the job, no matter how dire the circumstances. We risked our lives to keep grocery stores and hospitals running, but saw none of the generous unemployment benefits.
But workers always find a way to fight back. Nurses at Northern Light Health fighting to stop their bosses from stealing their paid vacation time at the negotiating table. Some local politicians have stood their ground defending the nurses union, only to be attacked for their support of frontline workers.
The experiences of the last year have mobilized many. Our institutions are not prepared to respond to the catastrophes of a changing climate that are near in our future. Workers must to be empowered to respond to our local conditions. Workers need to be organized to change the world: that’s why DSA and organized labor are building a movement to pass the Protect the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). Join us for a national day of action before the Senate returns to session.